California Use Tax Information

Registration and Reporting Requirements
Purchaser Type Registration and Reporting Requirements
Individual or Unregistered Service Business Even if you are an individual or unregistered service business, and are not required to be registered for any of the reasons below, you are still required to report use tax on all purchases made from out-of-state retailers in which California tax was not collected.
Seller's Permit Holder If you hold a California seller's permit, you must pay the use tax due on purchases you make from out-of-state retailers that were not otherwise taxed and taxable merchandise you withdraw from resale inventory for personal or business use.
Service Business That Makes At Least $100,000 in Gross Receipts Generally, if you are a service business that makes at least $100,000 in gross receipts, you are considered a "qualified purchaser" and will be required to register with the Board of Equalization (BOE) and report and pay use tax due on purchases made from out-of-state retailers. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for Qualified Purchasers to determine if you are required to register.
More Information:
  • Publication 126, Mandatory Use Tax Registration for Service Enterprises
  • BOE-345-QP, Qualified Purchaser – Registration Update
Frequent Purchaser of Out-of-State Goods If you are a person or business that regularly incurs use tax liabilities, but are not required to hold a seller's permit and are not required to register for a use tax account as a qualified purchaser (see above), you should arrange to receive consumer use tax returns by applying for a consumer use tax account online using electronic registration (eReg).
Purchaser of a Vehicle, Vessel, Aircraft, or Mobile Home If you purchase from a seller who does not hold a California seller's permit and did not pay tax on the purchase of a vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or mobile home, you may be required to report use tax directly to the BOE. Please see Frequently Asked Questions-Use Tax on Vehicles, Vessels, and Aircraft for more information on reporting use tax on a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft. Please see Regulation 1610.2, Mobile Homes And Commercial Coaches for more information on reporting use tax on mobile homes.
Purchaser of Cigarette and Tobacco Products If you purchase untaxed cigarette and/or tobacco products from an out-of-state retailer, you will need to register with the BOE to report unpaid excise and use taxes. You can register online using eReg. If the BOE receives information from an out-of-state seller regarding your purchase of untaxed cigarette and tobacco products, you will automatically be registered.
More Information:
Purchaser of Foreign Goods The first $800 of tangible personal property that is purchased from a retailer in a foreign country by an individual and personally hand-carried into this state from the foreign country within any 30-day period is exempt from use tax. This exemption does not apply to property sent or shipped to this state. You are required to report use tax due on any purchases of foreign goods not meeting this exemption. Please see Foreign Purchases for additional information on reporting requirements for foreign purchases.